Bianca-Maria Bolum - Cuckoo wasp iridescence and volvation

Name and surname: Bianca-Maria Bolum 

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Country: United Kingdom 

Title: Cuckoo wasp iridescence and volvation - Chrysididae

Description: Chrysididae, known as cuckoo wasps or emerald wasps, is a family of parasitoid or kleptoparasitic wasps with iridescent bodies created by structural coloration, from the Hymenoptera order.
The scientific name Chrysididae derives from the Greek 'chrysid', meaning 'gold vessel' refering to their metallic, brightly coloured bodies, emphasized by the exoskeleton punctured by a complex system of holes and protrusions of varying sizes.
The familiar denomination derives from their parasitic practice of leaving eggs inside the nests of unrelated wasps, similarly to cuckoo birds. Subsequently, their larvae consume the host's eggs and then feed on the food brought by it to its offspring.
Chrysidines differentiate themselves from other wasp subfamilies through the flat or concave lower abdomens that facilitate volvation when attacked: curling into a defensive, spherical position. The female Chrysididae sting has been altered to facilitate reproduction, reducing the valvulae and poison gland, which results in inability to sting.

Category: Scientific illustration

Technique: Watercolour on paper
Artificial intelligence: No
Size: 42×29 cm
Year: 2022